This all started with a small plan: take the commuter rail to Ipswich, get lunch at the Brewer’s table, and hit up a tour. But then it occurred to me—why stop there? If you follow the map down to Boston, there are a handful of breweries that are within striking distance of the commuter rail.
So, here is a proposed brewery tour for a Saturday, which makes timing tricky because the commuter rail can be described as infrequent at best. My suggested route sends you outbound all the way to Lynn, slowly brings you up North, with stops in Beverly and Ipswich, and back to Newburyport just in time for the 5pm Session at the Newburyport Brewing Co. A fine Saturday if you ask me. Check out the details below.
Newburyport Line Brewery Tour
10:52 Catch the inbound train in Newburyport. I’d suggest you pack some snacks and water in a light backpack, perhaps a wind jacket, but that is just the mother in me talking. If you really want to get wild, a slim jim and Gatorade will do. Or perhaps you’ve stopped off at the Dunkin Donuts and board the train with a giant iced coffee. The decision is yours, just make sure to have someone drop you off as can’t leave your car in the lot overnight. And after this tour you won’t be driving anywhere.
11:34 Arrive in Lynn. I’m just going to point out that, after arriving in Lynn, you still have about a half hour to kill before the Bent Water Brewery opens. (Did you see my earlier note about the rail schedule on the weekends?) I bet you are glad to have a backpack with snacks; you’re welcome. It’s about a fifteen minute walk from the station to the brewery. Keep your head down and your money hidden.
12:00 Bent Water Brewing Opens, and you will likely be the first person in the tap room.
Before I go any further, take a look down at your outbound train departure time; yes that says 12:41. So I’m going to need you to be in and out of that tap room within twenty-five minutes. Note: Bent Water Brewery just opened its door to the public in January. Be sure to start with Thunder Funk IPA.
12:41 Board outbound train, arrive as a hot sweaty mess, step into a slim jim, kick up your feet and realize this is going to be a PHENOMENAL day.
12:55 Hop off at the Beverly Depot stop. Beverly Gentile Brewing Company is next on the list. Opened in 2015 by Paul and Christen Gentile, this brewery makes its beer using traditional English-style brewing methods. Another new kid on the block, Gentile’s tap room has been taking visitors since March of this year. The brewery is a stone’s throw from the commuter rail, so go ahead and sample a little of everything. You have the time.
2:05 Catch the outbound train
2:20 Arrive Ipswich. I’m not going to candy coat it: you have 3 hours to kill. The good news is you can get a tour of the brewery, enjoy a late lunch at the Brewer’s Table, and walk around Ipswich’s downtown (visit our friends over at Be Modern). Stop in at Salt Kitchen and Rum Bar, perhaps adding a local cocktail into your full beer belly. Order a drink that offers Ipswich’s own Privateer Rum.
5:20 Board the train to Newburyport. Please act decent and refrain from telling others this tour was my idea. (That being said, make sure you tag #nbptdaytripperbrewtour on your social media photos from the day).
5:34 Arrive in Newburyport. We have two breweries in town. Visit both to complete this commuter rail brewery tour. RiverWalk Brewery closes at 6 pm, so put a little pep in your step because it is roughly a 15-minute walk from the train. This gives you about ten minutes to sample some of their delicious beer. Finish your tour with a short 5-minute walk to Newburyport Brewing Co. Enjoy live music until 8pm (right now through the month of May).
ND Note: Drink responsibly, stay hydrated, and keep a loyal friend on standby should you miss a train.